There are almost 16.4 million children all across America that reside in families whose annual incomes are less than $22,050, which is beneath the federal poverty rate (families of four). Studies revealed that families of four will actually need twice that amount just to pay for basic expenses. Utilizing that figure, this means that about forty-two percent of children reside in families which are low-income in America.
Unfortunately, children represent a disproportionate share of America's poor because they represent just 24% of the total U.S. population, but they are 36% of the total poor population. In 2010 alone, there were 16.4 million children, under the age of eighteen, who were living below the poverty level. The child poverty rate differs considerably by race according to the U.S. Census for 2010, see below for statistics.
Many of those youngsters' parents work, but their wages are low or they are underemployed. Employment that is unstable is another reason why low-income families struggle with meeting their basic needs of food and shelter. Studies have also shown that poverty has an effect on a child's capacity learn and they also experience emotional, health and behavioral problems at a higher level than children who do not experience poverty.
To sum it up, studies have clearly shown that poverty is one of the biggest risks to the overall well-being of a child. However, by having successful social service programs that provide early high-quality child care, can often make a big difference for a child from a low-income family.
Between 1970 and 1990, approximately thirty-five percent of children between the ages of birth to fifteen years lived in poverty. African-American children experienced poverty more than white children. Individuals who experience child poverty have a higher chance of being poor when they are adults. This in essence is one of the causes of intergenerational poverty.
Presently, there are approximately seventeen million children who reside in America that have one parent or both, that are foreign-born. Out of the seventeen million children, nearly four million of them are affected by child poverty. There are many challenges that immigrants face such as employment and social issues that factor in to causing the family to struggle financially. Studies have also shown that children of immigrant parents are not as likely to be receiving food stamps compared to native-born parents. Unemployment for foreign-born parents is one of the leading causes of their financial struggles.
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is America's foremost public policy center committed to improving the health, economical security, and well-being of children in America who are living in homes that have low-incomes. NCCP utilizes studies to develop policies and practices that have the objective of providing beneficial results for future generations of children. They encourage family based solutions both in the state, as well as the national levels.
Clearly, the data says America has a long way to go to eliminate poverty across the country.
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